Michael Jackson is a massive inspiration for us here at Strings of Rage™. In this episode we’re going to take a close look at the composition of one of MJ’s most awesome, but little known heavy rock tracks “Do You Know Where Your Children Are”.
This track was a previously unreleased song recorded for the Dangerous album. It’s a shame this song didn’t make the cut because it’s such an aggressive solid rock tune from MJ. It would have easily complemented the likes of “give in to me” and “black or white” on the Dangerous album.
Drop Tuning Ahead! – Drop D
Heads up! We’ll need to drop tune our low E string down to D in order to play this properly. This is called drop D tuning. The rest of the strings will remain in standard. Your string tuning should now be: D A D G B E
Versions of This Song
There is 3 versions of this song circulating on the internet and in albums. I’m not going to vent my frustrations about how Timbaland ruined this banger of a track. However we’re going to be looking at Michael’s second unreleased demo of this song where he bought in Steve Lukather to play the guitars. A lot of fans assume this is slash as MJ is known for working with slash, however on this track it’s Steve Lukather.
Composition & Main Theme
As with a lot of MJ songs, simplicity is nearly always they key. Keeping songs simple allows you to determine a theme for your listener quickly. You can then adapt your theme as you see fit to take your listeners on a journey. That’s exactly what MJ liked to do in a simple verse > chorus > bridge > verse type of idea.
Guitar Track: Key of D Minor
After a nice little 4 bar intro of the drum groove you’re assaulted by the tracks main guitar theme. As with a lot of MJ tunes it’s a relatively simple riff but it’s totally gripping and an aggressive assault of a rhythm track.
Using a rhythmic swing, the riff simply ascends and descends the first 3 notes of the natural minor scale before hitting a D5 power chord. This repeats to then hit a C5 power chord.
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